Father arrives in SoCal to face charge he murdered his missing 5-year-old son

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A South Pasadena man who allegedly killed his 5-year-old son amid a bitter custody battle with the boy's mother was returned to the Southland Friday from Las Vegas, where he was arrested a week ago.

Aramazd Andressian Sr., 35, arrived at Long Beach Airport about 12:20 p.m. and was to be incarcerated in a Los Angeles County jail, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. He has been in custody since his June 23 arrest on suspicion of killing his son, Aramazd Andressian Jr., whose body has not been found.

Andressian -- who could face up to 25 years to life in state prison if convicted -- is set to be arraigned Monday at the Alhambra courthouse on a murder charge.

The youngster was last seen at 1 a.m. April 21 leaving Disneyland with his father, who was found unconscious at Arroyo Seco Park in South Pasadena the next day and was unable to account for his son's whereabouts.

Los Angeles County sheriff's homicide Lt. Joe Mendoza alleged the killing was "pre-planned" and took place between the time Andressian and his son left Disneyland and the father was discovered unconscious at the South Pasadena park.

Andressian told investigators he arrived at the park with his son and waited for the golf course to open, and admitted ingesting prescription medication that was not prescribed to him, Mendoza said. Andressian has been
uncooperative and gave false information to investigators since he fell under suspicion, Mendoza said.

The father said he did not remember what happened to his child or any details that were useful in locating the boy, according to Mendoza, who said a prescription bottle was found inside Andressian's car, which was doused with gasoline inside and out.

Mendoza alleged that Andressian planned his son's murder to get back at his estranged wife during a "tumultuous" divorce and then tried to commit suicide -- before heading to Las Vegas to prepare to flee the country.

The investigation into the boy's disappearance included several weeks of surveillance, during which the suspect "significantly" changed his appearance, acted in a manner inconsistent with the behavior of a grieving
parent and appeared to be planning to flee to a country from which he could not be extradited, Mendoza said.

Sheriff's officials have not provided specifics on any new evidence explaining the suspect's latest arrest. He was originally arrested in Los Angeles County shortly after his son went missing, but was later released for
lack of evidence.

An extradition hearing Tuesday in Las Vegas cleared the way for Andressian's return to the Southland. At that hearing, Andressian, sporting dyed, light-colored hair, calmly told a judge that he would not resist being
sent back to Los Angeles.

"If California wants me they can come get me ... ," he said.

The man's attorney, Daniel Nardoni, told FOX 11 Monday that he was "surprised to see that he was arrested on the charge of murder in particular since they haven't found a body and since he's been adamant from day one he
hasn't done (anything) to harm his son or done anything to jeopardize his welfare."

RELATED: 'I miss him more than words can describe': Mother of missing 5-year-old boy speaks to FOX 11

The search for the boy has spanned several Southern California counties, including in the Lake Cachuma Recreation Area near Santa Barbara, where Andressian told authorities he took the boy the day after the Disneyland trip.

Law enforcement officials intend to continue searching for the boy's body in Santa Barbara County, Mendoza said.

A $20,000 reward was offered by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for information that helps authorities locate the child, who is white, 4 feet 1 and 55 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes and a small mole on the bottom of his right shoulder.

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